MoldMaking Technology

AUG 2018

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Page 40 of 83 39 makes the reaction time of the electrode substantially faster when it pulls out of the EDM cut as it is burning. "In other words, I can pulse the electrodes quicker, which allows me to flush them faster and achieve a better burning process as a result." Sodick Inc.'s Evan Syverson explains that other EDM machines have a com- pletely different flushing process and that it comes back to the Z axis, which must jump as part of the flushing of the workpiece. "In general, to flush debris from the workpiece during machining, a manufacturer will either one, drill holes in the electrode through which they pump flushing fluid, or two, use an exterior spray nozzle to spray the workpiece with fluid. Option two only works in a small subset of applications, and option one usually will leave an unfin- ished area on the workpiece where the hole was because the electrode obvi- ously cannot burn where the electrode has a hole," he says. "In contrast, the Z axes on Sodick EDM machines can move so quickly that they create a vacuum force that blows the debris away from the work area. Thus, no flushing holes are needed." Bob Valk says, "My favorite aspect of a Sodick EDM machine is having the ability to burn small, deep ribs into steel without any problems." He explains that accuracy in EDM depends on the flushing because not having the abil- ity to flush the debris results in consequences. "On our old EDM machine, debris was not flushed well, and we would frequently get arcs that cause pits to form in the bottoms of the ribs, which could destroy the electrode. He says that with a Sodick machine, he could have an electrode measuring 0.020 inch that has to burn an inch deep, and because of the speed at which the machine moves and its acceleration, he can set it up, start the burn and walk away with- out worrying about arcing. "On the AG60L, we have a 12-station tool changer that allows me to burn overnight, unattended, and it has never failed in operation," he says. "Unattended burning has increased our profitability and has increased how much work we can produce during the day and at night." Economical EDM, Even on Hard-to-Machine Materials When working with materials that are harder to machine, Valk says that his Sodick EDM machines power through and are very economical. "As EDM technology evolves and becomes faster, we're not really limited by how difficult it is to machine the steel." He says that Action Mold serves the aerospace, automotive and medical and dental industries, which often require Action Mold to work with unique materials like Ampco that are difficult to cut. The abrasiveness of Ampco wears out electrodes more quickly than other materials. He says, "Previously, we would have had to mill anything in this material on a CNC machine, but I have had great success burning it in less time and with less wear on the electrodes because of Sodick's linear motor and control technology." According to Syverson, the hardness of the machined material does not influence the EDM process. Rather, it is the material's electrical conductivity and abrasiveness that can pose challenges during the cutting process. Regarding conductivity, he says, "The shape or waveform of the electrical discharge will impact how efficiently material is removed, while the polarity of the discharge can also impact how fast the cutting is performed and how much wear the electrodes will experience. Sodick has generators and a cutting-condition database in its controls that help operators easily achieve the optimal settings for very fast burning." For Sales and Support contact: Call: 909.941.0600 Email: InnovatIve SolutIonS Micro Injection Molding Machines Save Time, Save Money on Every Mold Change Quick Knockout Couplers Vega Gives the Mold Designer Flexible Command of Optimizing the Cylinder Around the Mold Established Production Machines that are Small, Flexible, Efficient, Fast, Quiet and Simple to Use Cylinders Designed for Molds

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